When I was in the 7th (or 8th?) grade, my basset hound Snoopy had puppies.  (Side note: They were the cutest freakin’ things in the world.  We had tri-color and brown and white ones!  The neighborhood girls would knock on our door and ask to play with the puppies.)  When we sold the puppies, my brother and I split the profits.  Get money!  I thought it was going to start raining Nintendo games and Z. Cavericci jeans.  It didn’t.

Instead, my mom made me put 1/2 the money into a mutual fund that she found out about.  The company literature looked like a Highlights magazine had swallowed it and spit it out complete with games and cartoon-y pictures.  It showed me how much money was in the account and how much it was growing (this was in the good ol’ market days, I guess).

And grow it did.  I think only put like $250 in there, and when I graduated college … I emptied it.  It was enough to buy me a return ticket to Rome, Italy; a Eurorail pass; a lot of hostels; my first Birra beer; one night at an amazing hotel in Venice (we splurged); a rental apartment in Cinque Terre, Italy for two days; a ferry trip to Corfu, Greeze.  It was amazing.  I learned about culture.  I learned about food.  I learned about traveling, and my friends, and myself.

I’m not really sure how to bring this together … but, anywho, I was reminded of my Europe trip when I read this article about McDonald’s taking their corporate stick and pushing it into the mouths of the Italians — Italy minister defends boost for McDonald’s burger.

I know the locals need their fast food … but, why don’t you see chain restaurants from Italy, or Japan, or Australia, or wherever, infiltrating our market?